I once got to a show late and missed The Elevator Division and had to listen to my friends rave about the band the rest of the night. That along with a good review on The Zone, left me pretty psyched to see the band. The fact that The Gloria Record were headlining was fairly inconsequential, and the fact a new band was playing the show was an added bonus.
Openers The Clint K Band began their set and immediately something didn't seem right. This band had nice gear, rehearsed stage moves, an audience that knew all the words, a CD, and were local but yet I had never heard of them, much less heard them. I immediately thought I must have lost touch with the scene and played closer intention to try and catch up.
The band were solidly rock. They had energy and emotion and a little bit of an edge to them. A somewhat standard fare bar band I thought. Bassist Chet Kueffer jumped around a bit and had that constant leg twitch to the beat that (mostly country) musicians sometimes develop. His backing vocals were solid and the bass lines fairly short and repetitive though effective. Drummer Jason Green was largely low-key but I blame the live sound for a bit of that. The band could have really used a GIANT drum sound that just wasn't in the PA. All of the bandís flash came from vocalist/guitarist Clint Kueffer. With his razored and bleached hair and sparkly silver guitar he looked a bit like Art Alexis. As I thought more about it, the whole band seemed to have a bit of an Everclear flair to them, but without the big hooks.
The band played a long set to delighted fans that I had never seen before and then the answer hit me - The Clint K Band are a christian rock band. They could have been honing their skills and building a fanbase at youth groups, coffee shops and lock-ins for years! Just now are they reaching out to the heathen bar crowd. Welcome to Bottleneck Sin City folks and just a tip, selling your promo glossy shots for $2... that's so terribly tacky it hurts.
Up next were Elevator Division. Josepch Hoskins stood dead center on stage behind his Yamaha keyboard looking rather art school in his black turtle neck or like a less road-worn Perry Ferrell. He stayed there stoically starring out at the bright spotlight on him. I looked over the band and like The Clint K Band, these kids were too young too take advantage of their earned free pulls of cheap beer from the club.
Their set began with a lovely egoistic guitar line that always mutated right when you thought you understood its simple pattern. The rest of the band joined in and created a growing and ebbing sonic indie rock masterpiece under the strong sung vocals of Joseph Hoskins. I was disappointed that other songs in their set never allowed James Hoskins' guitar to have the same control and the songs lost most of their raw edge. The band has chosen instead to focus on textures and soundscapes drawing on from brit rockers and most noticeably The Cure circa Primary.
The curious onlookers (including members of the KC indie elite) seemed to be satisfied by the band's heartfelt though slightly detached performance, and I was hooked. I even spent $10 and bought their CD, which just doesn't happen very often.
The audience had shrunk down to just over 50 by the time that The Gloria Record got their gear set up. Like The Elevator Division before them, The Gloria Record began their set without saying a word to the audience and continued the trend with little more than a nod outward between songs.
The Gloria Record wander a familiar ground in indie rock today. Their songs are slow with open space and beauty, there are swells and the songs build to near-climaxes but they're always a little unfulfilling as they never go over the edge and give you the rock that you want. They are a bit like Pedro the Lion in that respect, but not nearly so lo-fi nor nearly so rooted in bright pop.
Soon the soft shoe-gazing nature of the quintet was beginning to have its effect on my tired eyes and I decided to head for home only a few songs into their set.